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Friday, 15 October 2010
Fall is my favourite season (have I mentioned this?!).  Crisp air, blue skies for miles and warm sunshine. 

One day after school last week, a friend stopped by on her way to visit her horse and after two years of planning to meet her horse, we jumped at the chance to follow her to the farm where he is boarded.

Heaven.  While I know the thought of a farm fills my husband with terror, it makes me so happy.  Having grown up on and around farms it is home for me.  As a child, I wanted to be a veterinarian and I am still an animal lover, a trait which I share with my daughter. 
 The miniature horse, donkeys, chickens and dogs were a delight in the late afternoon sun. But the horses, oh the horses, were divine!  Thoroughbreds and Canadian horses by the paddock full.  Each paddock had a hand painted sign indicating its inhabitants: The Big Mares, The Baby Mares, The Boys. And they were the most affectionate and curious horses I have ever had the privilege to meet.  The big mares quickly gathered at the fence and whiffled hot breath in our ears and lipped our hands and cheeks (horse kisses!) with exquisite gentleness.  Rowan was enchanted.

At one point, I turned my back and she had made her own way over to the 'Boys' (which included a stallion) and my heart skipped a beat as I saw her leaning her full body inside the fence at knee level (growing up we had an almighty respect for 'Sir' my uncle's very large Clydesdale Stallion who kicked and bullied anyone and everything).  The stallion reached down and sinffled his way through Rowan's hair and she laughed in his face causing him to dance back and toss his head but keep his composure.  Standing out among this group was the old gentleman himself.
Licorice, my friend's horse, is 28. He is going from black to grey and he looks like an old man.  She calls him her 'life horse; as they have been together for 23 years, the constant man in her life!  Placed on his back, Rowan's eyes grew wide with wonder (to date she has been too leery to mount the horses we have encountered).  And I remember that feeling of warm body and coarse mane ~ I haven't ridden since a back fracturing accident at age 16~ and I saw the spark light up in her eyes as a horse lover was born.

We spent a little more time just visiting with the horses, and Rowan set about digging in the dirt alongside the mares fence.  One mare was intensely curious and managed to wedge her head through the lowest fence rungs so she could put her nose right down to Rowan's level and check out the building progress, when she tired of this she took to nibbling the ends of Ro's hair and bumping her for attention.
On our way out we met Larry the 200+ lb. pot belly pig and said goodbye to Pearl, the miniature horse.  The farm owner was outside and he nodded at Rowan nose to nose chatting with Pearl and said "she has the touch, Pearl doesn't bother with children", my friend nudged me and said "that's high praise!" and she's right, it is. I couldn't have been prouder.
On the way home, we enjoyed smelling like horses, and there were tears over having a shower because 'we won't smell like horse an more', so I firmly assured Rowan, post-shower, that she stilled smelled like a horse.One more happy memory to add to that scent memory of the smell of horses ♥


krex said...

Thanks for reminding me of my own childhood joy of horses . I loved everything about their soul-filled eyes,smell, warmth, strong muscles beneath their skin, grassy breath and my favorite...the silky velvet nose .

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